autumn-06

When Autumn comes, it sometimes comes in a blink of an eye.  One day it is summer and then the next, you notice a subtle crispness in the air.  Then it is pumpkin-spice time, chunky knitted sweaters and knee-high boots are everywhere.  This is the work of the Autumn Equinox. It is also known as Michaelmas, Mabon, and Harvest Home.  It comes without any fanfare.  We pass it on the calendar in its small print in a blink of an eye.

This year, the Autumn Equinox happens approximately at 10:26am EDT on Thursday 22 September 2016.  The sun will rise at 6:44am and set at 6:52pm, giving us 8 minutes more of daylight over night.  The equinoxes happen at the same moment everywhere.  More light is called equilux(“lux” being Latin for light).

Autumnal Equinox Illustration
Autumnal Equinox Illustration

 

Depending on what side of the equator you live, you have different seasons than the opposite side.  The equinox in September in the north is known as the Autumnal(fall) equinox and the one in the south is known as the vernal(spring) equinox.  Each year has two equinoxes, September and March, when the sun shines directly on the equator and length of day and night are almost equal on both sides of the equator.  This equinox occurs the moment the Sun crosses the celestial equator-the imaginary line above the Earth’s equator-from North to South.  This can happen on either September 22, 23, or 24 every year.

Earth Orbits Sun At a Slant
Earth Orbits Sun At a Slant

The angle at which the Earth is tilted at is 23.4º, to the ecliptic, or the imaginary plane Earth’s path creates around the sun.

Both hemispheres are always tilt a little towards the sun on any other day of the year, but on these two days, the Earth’s axis is always perpendicular towards the sun, as illustrated in the picture above.

On the Equinox, the night and day are nearly the same-12 hours-all over the world.  Equinox is derived from the Latin word aequus,  eqi meaning “equal” and nox meaning “night”.  Despite this being commonly accepted definition, in reality, equinoxes don’t exactly have 12 hours of daylight.  If you want to read more about why they don’t have exactly 12 of day, please click HERE.

hello autumn!
hello autumn!

Until December, the days get shorter until the Winter solstice, when the light will make its slow creep back to long summer days.  Technically, Winter Solstice is the shortest day of the year, compared to the summer solstice in June, which has the longest sunlight.

Wikimedia Commons/CC BY 2.0
Wikimedia Commons/CC BY 2.0

Due to the fact that it takes Earth 365.25 days to orbit the Sun and why we have a leap year every year, the precise time of the equinox varies every year.  But usually it happens six hours later on each successive year.  On leap years though, the date jumps back an entire day.

Male Siberian Hamster
Male Siberian Hamster

Brilliant leaves and geomagnetic storms aren’t the only things that ramp up around the time of the autumnal equinox.  The creature world also does too.  Animals at high latitudes also go through biological changes with the changing of the seasons.  For example, the Siberian hamster, experiences the growth of their testes of up to 17 times their normal size in days leading up to when the days get shorter.

The Japanese traditionally mark both the Spring and Autumn Equinox with higan, higan-festivala seven-day period where they honor and remember their ancestors by visiting their graves by cleaning graves and offering flowers and foods, and burning incense sticks and praying.

 

 

 

Priest blessing food and flowers during the Polish Festival of Greenery.
Priest blessing food and flowers during the Polish Festival of Greenery.

In Poland, the Polish celebrate the Polish Festival of Greenery bring bouquets of flowers and foods to a priest for a blessing, and then using them for medicine or keeping them until the following year’s harvest.  The Roman celebration of the Fall Equinox was dedicated to Pomona, goddess of fruits and growing things

A well-fattened goose which had fed well on the stubble on the fields after the harvest is traditionally feasted on.  Ginger is also part of the tradition too.  Every single piece of food that is served that day at the feast is seasoned with ginger from gingerbread to ginger beer.

The last piece of corn that was harvested was made into a doll in England,corn-huskdolls representing the “spirit of the field”.  Drenched in water, this would represent rain or they were burned, representing the death of the spirit of the grain.  Large wickerwork figures are burned in a mock sacrifice or constructed to present a vegetarian spirit.  The large wickerwork figures also represented those two factors as well.  Farmers and merchants gathered at fairs.  Often there would be a large glove was suspended above the fair, symbolizing  the handshake of promises and open-handedness and generosity.

 

Burning Man Galen Oaks 2015
Burning Man Galen Oaks 2015

The “burning man” has seen a revival in the US.  It is celebrated at the end of summer.  It is an enthusiastic festival of performance arts and creativity.  Participating in your own burning man celebration is a powerful way to connect with humanity, past and present.

 

 

Autumn is a great time to still get out and do many activities before having to stay inside all winter.  This is just a small sampling of the many activities celebrated worldwide to usher in the annual Autumn Equinox.

How do you celebrate Autumn Equinox?  Do you look forward to autumn?  Please continue the conversation below.  If you liked this post, click “like” below and share to your favorite social networks.   I hope you enjoyed this post.  Thanks!

 

Till next time…

xo-heather

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Last year about this time, I discovered this amazing and unique animal called the Cassowary bird, which is Australia’s biggest species.  If you click the link, you can read more in-depth about this species.

Southern Cassowary
Southern Cassowary

 

I started following the cassowaryrecoveryteam‘s blog last year which sends out updates every couple of weeks.

This week’s’ post is about World Cassowary Day 2016.  Why is this important, you ask?  Why am posting this, you might be wondering?

If you read the post I wrote last year, you may see that these birds are charismatic and fascinating creatures.  They are truly a living dinosaur.  The Cassowary bird is considered a keystone species by conservationists.  They maintain the diversity of the rainforest, and play a key role in maintaining the ecological balance in the rainforest.

Cassowary & chick
Cassowary & chick

They have also become cultural icons for the wider community and an important part of the local landscape and identity of the Wet Tropics community.  the recently amalgamated Cassowary Coast Regional Council has adopted the cassowary as a part of their logo and corporate identify.

southern cassowary
southern cassowary

The Southern Cassowary Casuarius(casuarius johnsonii) is listed as a threatened species internationally and under State and Commonwealth legislation in Australia. The southern cassowary is listed as Vulnerable on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.

cassowarystickersmall

World Cassowary Day will be held in the Daintree this year from 10am to 2pm on 24 August 2016.  It will be at the Daintree Rainforest Observatory, 3701 Cape Tribulation Road, Cape Tribulation, Australia.  There will be complimentary free parking and there will be signs posted for directions to the observatory.  Activities include over 30 stalls about cassowaries and other wildlife, music performances, wildlife displays, face painting, and other activities for the kids.  There will be speakers there presenting on topics such as the world’s three different species of cassowaries, the Daintree blockade, tracking cassowaries through their poo, cassowary seed dispersal, conserving cassowary habit and a history of cassowary conservation.  The film, No Wabu, No Wuju, No Gunduy (No Rainforest, No Food, No Cassowary) will be shown.  For more on World Cassowary Day, click HERE.

 

World Cassowary Day 2016
World Cassowary Day 2016

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you live in Australia near there or are going to be in Australia near there on those dates, I highly recommend checking this out.

Here is a video with a bit of information on the Cassowary and some up close and personal encounter with one.

Have you ever met a Cassowary?  Have you ever attended a World Cassowary Day or plan to attend this years?  I’d love for you to comment below and continue the conversation.  If you liked this post, please like and share.  Thanks 🙂

Till next time…

xo-heather

The Full Snow Moon

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I hope you guys got out last night and caught a glimpse of the Full Snow Moon last night.  What a sight!  Chris got out of work last night about quarter to 10 last night and even though he worked doubles, 12 hours, straight through with no break, he offered to take me out to somewhere that offered an unobstructed view.

First, we stopped at Country Fair for something quick to eat along the way and decided to drive up to Phieffer Nature Center on top of Lillibridge road in Portville.  There is a big open field and ranges in elevation from 1,900 to 2,300 feet above sea level along a steep valley wall that faces west.  The views are spectacular and on a clear day you can see twenty-two miles west to the peaks of Allegany State Park.  Totally unobstructed and none of those pesky power lines that always “photobomb” my pictures here at the house.

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It was pretty cold out so we didn’t stay long.  I got a dozen or so shots, a good group to choose from. 

Did you happen to see Jupiter was out?  The bright object in the sky below it to the left was Jupiter.  I got some shots of it too but either my camera is not powerful enough to capture it or I just don’t know how to shoot star and galaxy’s.

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Did you get any amazing pictures last night?  Did you see the Full Snow Moon last night?  I’d love to hear about it in the comments section below.  If you liked this post, please like, share, and follow my blog if you haven’t already.  I’m trying to get a 100 followers by Spring.  Thanks!

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Namaste!
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Solar Eclipse
Solar Eclipse

The following are the solar and lunar eclipses for the next two years:

 

08 March 2016: Total Eclipse of the Sun This eclipse will not be visible from North America but will be visible from northern and eastern Asia, northern and western Australasia and Indian Ocean.

 

23 March 2016: Penumbral Eclipse of the Moon This eclipse will be visible from North America. Western regions will be able to see the entire eclipse. In Eastern regions the Moon will be very close to the horizon and only the beginning of the eclipse will be visible before the Moon sets. The Moon will enter the penumbra at 5:37 A.M. EDT and will leave the penumbra at 9:57 A.M.

 

01 September 2016: Annular Eclipse of the Sun This eclipse will not be visible from North America but will be visible from Africa, Indian Ocean and Antarctica.

 

16 September 2016: Penumbral Eclipse of the Moon This eclipse will not be visible from North America but will be visible from Australasia, Asia, Africa, Europe and South America.

A Rare Lunar Astronomical Event Presents Itself Tonight

 

"Blood Moon"
“Blood Moon”

Hi, everyone.  Is everyone excited and have their cameras ready for tonight’s rare astronomical event tonight? Say what you ask.  Tonight, there will be a super moon plus a total lunar eclipse Sunday night (or Monday morning, depending on where you live).  It hasn’t happened since 1982 and won’t happen again until 2033. If younger than 33, this will be their first-ever chance to see this and you don’t want to miss this.

When a full or new moon makes an approach closest to earth (perigee), it is a super moon.  Although it is still 220,000 million miles away, the moon will still look brighter and bigger than usual.  30% brighter and 14% larger than when it is at its further point (apogee), a difference of 31,000 miles.  It fact, it is the closest moon of the year, at only 30,000 miles closer than the average difference.

This will be the fourth lunar eclipse in only two years and, like the other three, also falling on a Jewish holiday (in many parts of the world, but not in the US, which is a different time zone).  The eclipse marks the end of a tetrad, or a series of four total lunar eclipses set six months.  This series began in April 2014.  This tetrad has occurred seven times since the birth of Jesus.

That’s not all. When the full Moon goes into Earth’s shadow, astronomers call it a total lunar eclipse.   The super moon will be bathed in the blood-red light of a total eclipse.  The light that is going around the edges of the Earth’s and being filtered through the atmosphere creates a caste an eerie red light that makes the “blood moon”.  Typically happens every year or two. But the media have started referring to this event as a “Blood Moon.” Maybe that derives from several Bible passages, such as Revelation 6:12:  “And I beheld when he had opened the sixth seal, and, lo, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood;” —which kind of suggests that the end of the world is approaching.

Old fresco with beautiful woman appearing as Moon from Palazzo Vecchio in Florence.
Old fresco with beautiful woman appearing as Moon from Palazzo Vecchio in Florence.

The full eclipse of the moon will last more than an hour and be visible, weather permitting, from North and South America, Europe, Africa, and western Asia.  The best time to view it from the U.S. East Coast is 10:11 p.m. EDT (0211 GMT), that’s when the moon, Earth and sun will be lined up, with the Earth’s shadow totally obscuring the moon.  The Moon will enter the penumbra at 8:10 p.m. EDT and the umbra at 9:07 p.m. on September 27th; totality begins at 10:11 p.m. The Moon will leave the umbra at 11:24 p.m. and the penumbra at 1:24 a.m. on September 28th.

lunar-eclipse-september-2015

In Europe, the action will unfold before dawn Monday.  No matter where, the eclipse will begin two hours earlier.

Observatories are marking the celestial event with public telescope viewing, although magnifying devices won’t be necessary; the eclipse will be easily visible with the naked eye.  Astronomers are urging stargazers to simply look to the east.

The 21st century will see eight of these tetrads, an uncommonly good run.  From 1600 to 1900, there were none.

This mysterious moon brings about a mix of astronomical canonicals, the Jewish calendar, and possibly even Doomsday.  So a certain crowd of people have prepared for the imminent calamity.

John Hagee and Mark Blitz, a Christian evangelical minister from Houston, who has stirred who controversy with his sermons (and books and television broadcasts) has claimed that tonight’s lunar eclipse has religious significance.  He contends that it will bring about the end of the end of the world-an idea that is sometimes called the “blood moon prophecy”.  They say this moon signals a downward spiral into dark times.  The two men have spent some of their limited remaining time on Earth in a tiff about who had the revelation first.

The Mormons are also equally distraught, as they also fearing an earthquake or a military invasion will hit Utah upon the moon’s rise.  They have been stockpiling food in anticipation of the event, and survival supplies are flying off the shelves,

And other people, of course, like me, are just eagerly anticipating the epic stargazing event.    I am looking forward to getting some amazing pictures.  You’ll find me at some remote local with an unobstructed view far away from city lights, weather pending of course.

I have provided a schedule for you guys that you may print if you wish too.

Printable Eclipse Schedule
Printable Eclipse Schedule

NASA will give a live video feed of the entire eclipse-an option for when clouds obscure you own view tonight.

And who knows?  It might be the last moon you ever see.  I will post some pictures in a few days if it isn’t cloudy here.

Will you be out watching the lunar eclipse tonight?  Are you going by yourself or other people?  Will you be taking photos?  Do you believe the moon tonight is bringing on doomsday or is it a bunch of baloney?  I’d love to hear your answers below!

I’m Back Plus Some Awesome News!

Hi, everyone!  I manage to make it through August alright and I hope y’all have been good too and have had a great summer and those with kids are gearing up to send theirs back to school either with sadness or abiding anticipation.  Our son, Justin, goes back on 08 September, whereas my baby sister goes back today !!!  Poor girl!

So lots of awesome things happened last month, but the most awesome thing that happened was that I got married!  I am now Mrs. Warner!  Our wedding turned out very nice, especially with all the help we had from our family and friends.  It was a great day and a beautiful ceremony too.  Here are some pictures:

Fast forward two weeks later, I am really loving being married plus I find that it suits me.  I have pretty much forgotten how stressful it was planning this wedding.  I really recommend being married too.  We haven’t had a single issue since we’ve been married.  Things are super!

Oh, I got a new toy….and I kicked the old one to the curb(well, actually Grace wanted it so I gave it to her…she can fight with it lol).  When we were up in Buffalo on our “mini honeymoon” we stopped at Best Buy and we were looking at camera’s and I came home with…

Introducing my new baby, the ‪Nikon‬ P610! It’s a bridge camera with 60x optical range zoom, giving it the status of an ‘ultrazoom’ camera. It retains its predecessors back-illuminated 16MP CMOS sensor for clearer image quality and less noise. The P610 isn’t short on features though. It boasts WI-FI connectivity with NFC pairing for easy image sharing and remote camera control. GPS and GLONASS(which I am really digging) geolocation tagging is also present, so you can map out where your photos were taken and discover points of interest. There is also a flip-out screen, with full HD capture, including it with the video capture, time-lapse movie mode, 1cm micro ability, plus a high level of control customization, it has everything on here. It may be a bit on the bulky side, so you’ll need a camera bag. The Nikon is extremely easy to use and to navigate through the different settings, dependable and reliable, fun to use with lots of cool features, and puts out great picture after great picture. Rated 4.5 across the board, this is easily a $400.00-$500.00. I 💜 it soooo and it makes my ‪‎photography‬ passion even more enjoyable and it takes sooo much better pictures than my old camera ever did and best of all, I don’t have to fight with it to get it to work either.  I have taken some amazing photos with it that I have been posting over at my FB page, Serene View Photography, if you would like to check them out and give my page a like and share for me.  Sadly, I have used up all the free space WordPress has given me over on my photography blog and I cannot afford to pay the $100 to get unlimited space, so I am no longer posting any photos there at this time, so I am currently posting photos on my FB page.

So that’s all I got for now.  I hope everyone is doing well.  I would love to hear how your summer went, so you can leave a comment below if you like and let me know.  It’s great to be back and I will post more content again soon!  Take care.

 

 

The Full Strawberry Moon Rises Today

The full strawberry moon will rise again tonight, 2 June 2015.
The full strawberry moon will rise again tonight, 2 June 2015.

What is a Strawberry Moon? The full moon that appears in June is called the Strawberry Moon. In North America, the peak harvesting season for strawberries in June gives that month’s full moon its name. The Strawberry Moon is one of the few full moon names that is universal to every Algonquin tribe.

The rise of this moon signaled to the Algonquin that is was time to gather the ripening fruit.  The moon will look its reddest when it first comes over the horizon.  In Europe, it is known as the Full Rose Moon, while other cultures named it the first Hot Moon, for the beginning of the summer heat.

A poem by Robert Graves is very appropriate.

wild strawberries by robert graves

 

According to weather lore, the change of the Moon from wax to wane during the first three days, you’ll get no rain.  If this is true, we’ll have beautiful June weather after the Strawberry Moon!

Will you be viewing the Strawberry Moon tonight?  Leave your comments below.

See you next time!

vintage bluebird signature EDIT